Ellis sure to be in demand on surprise return home
Dave Hadfield was a schoolboy convert to rugby league, the game which, one way or another, has dominated his life ever since. After working for newspapers in Shropshire and Blackpool (where he covered the fortunes of Blackpool Borough) he travelled the world, working mainly in Hong Kong and Sydney. He became The Independent's rugby league man in 1990 and has written five books on the game and broadcast extensively for Sky and the BBC. Dave played his last game at the age of 53 and would have set up a try if anyone could have been bothered supporting his break. When not writing about the sport, he now limits himself to a bit of tick and pass with his local club, the Bolton Mets. Family includes supporters - of varying degrees of dedication - of Salford, Wigan, Sheffield Eagles and St George Illawarra.
Wednesday 29 February 2012
The news that Gareth Ellis is to return to Super League could trigger the game's biggest manhunt of recent years. The England forward will leave his Australian club, Wests Tigers, at the end of this season.
Ellis had agreed a contract extension for 2013 but was able to activate a release clause and the Tigers' chief executive, Stephen Humphreys, said: "We are disappointed but have granted Gareth his wish to return to England at the end of this year."
Ellis has been the Tigers' player of the year in each of his three seasons at the club. Even at the age of 30, there will be keen competition for his services in England. His previous club, Leeds, are the logical favourites to sign him, although it would be very much in character for Warrington to make a serious bid and Wigan cannot be ruled out.
An ambitious club like Huddersfield or Hull could possibly put a tempting package together, while Ellis has strong links with Wakefield, his first professional club, and Castleford, his hometown.
Ellis's agent, David Howes, said his client would be seeking a three-year deal. "It's been a major decision for Gareth, but he feels the time is right to return home. Wests Tigers have been top-class in the matter.
"Gareth is a role model on and off the field but is also still very ambitious. He will be aiming to leave the Tigers as a Grand Final winner."
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